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Baby boomers are no longer the largest segment of the working population. Now, they are making way to another group determined to change the face of the business world – the millennials. They move into leadership positions, flock to innovative startups, and endorse a different work philosophy.
You could say that they possess a distinctive outlook of what they expect from the career and have distinctive priorities in life. In fact, they seek meaningful employment experience, not just a satisfying paycheck at the end of the month.
The powers that be
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The rules that used to be set in stone are now perceived as something that stands in the way of collaboration and transparency. Office design of today reflects the aspiration for dismantling old corporate hierarchies and assembling a horizontally-aligned workspace. Millennials endorse a democratic approach and crave to immerse in a work environment which offers a flat organizational structure.
Larger, more rigid companies have more trouble adapting to these developments or are simply unwilling to “delayer” their business framework. Thus, it comes as a no surprise that the millennials lean towards dynamic start-ups and small businesses.
Success by design
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The aforementioned principles serve as centerpieces of the corporate culture and ethics. Hence, office design is right at the core of new engagement and retention policies. It encompasses everything from ergonomic chairs and customizable desks to architectural features and photovoltaic windows. Personalized, multi-purpose, and flexible design solutions are gaining traction.
Also, an open-office plan is millennials’ darling, a way to bring down the obstacles to interaction and promote visibility. These young professionals are more partial to working in teams, not isolated in cubicles. In order to bring vigor to the workplace, they must be treated with an uplifting environment.
Millennials want their bosses to encourage free access to meetings and information. What is more, autonomy and freedom in handling day-to-day obligations are in the spotlight. Instead of walls, they rather see dividers and floor-to-ceiling glass installations as an appropriate separating feature. They advocate closeness, information sharing, and accountability across the board.
Hence, companies should try to make the entirety of space available to workers. Some of them might like to carry out meeting in a lounge area, and others prefer to work in a reception room. In general, when they are presented with different methods of accomplishing assignments, and allowed to multitask, millennials are at their best.
Furthermore, millennials can be considered to be digital natives born with a gadget in hand. Even those who are not particularly tech-savvy are certainly tech-dependant. They want to be empowered by technology, a force which is expected to cut through bureaucratic levels. So, the company aspiring to harness the potential of a millennial workforce must invest in top-of-the-line computers.
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Apart from that, it should mount lightning-fast internet capacity, employ digital communication tools, and integrate cutting-edge tech in other amenities. Another item high on the list of priorities is comfort, a quality which can be summoned with high-quality office furniture and versatile workstations. Such well-designed spaces also offer them a chance to rewind and keep up the good work.
A state-of-the-art office does wonders for worker’s motivation and productivity, and it also helps companies attract and retain top talent. When an office becomes more than just a place for performing tedious tasks, employees are inclined to display peak performance and unleash their creativity. Now, millennials do care for the company’s bottom line, but this is not something that preoccupies them, unlike community and environmental concerns.
Namely, apart from the tech-fueled teamwork, millennials desire environment-friendly policies and practical solutions. That is why forward-thinking enterprises take advantage of energy-saving office appliances, renewable energy sources, long-lasting LED lighting, and other means of lowering the carbon footprint.
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Millennials do not derive their strength from numbers, but the power of belief. The profit is no longer the sole lodestar of the business world because people and the natural habitat come into focus. This authentic group brought a striking change in the corporate world, and already poses an invaluable asset.
The traditional top-down corporate structure is dead, and this shows in office design, as well as engagement and retention policies. As a result, companies with traditional hierarchy heavily ingrained in their office layout struggle to hire millennials and stay ahead of the curve.